To commemorate 2024 World Environment Day: Indigenous populations, CSOs implore gov’t to curb forest exploitation.

Minister Hele Pierre in group photo with participants

Indigenous populations across the country together with Civil Society Organisations, CSOs, have called on the government to ensure the strict respect of measures put in place to end over-exploitation of forests, in a bid to combat climate change and several environmental problems.

The appeal is the content of a letter comprising the grievances of local and indigenous communities in the face of the resurgence of logging in forest areas.

It was presented to the Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development, MINEPDED, Hélé Pierre, Thursday June 5 in Yaounde. 

This was on the occasion of World Environment Day, celebrated this year under the theme: “Land restoration, desertification and drought resilience”.

The letter, which was presented in prelude to a march from the Anastasie Park at the Warda neighbourhood in Yaounde, to the esplanade of the ministry of environment, was a brain child of the Climate Justice Movement, CJM, an initiative of Greenpeace Africa.

According to the Coordinator of the Cameroon Youth Centre for Greenpeace Africa dubbed ‘Mboa Hub’, Rex Andoh, the march was a call to action for government, CSOs and the public to step up their actions in environmental protection. 

“This march today is a huge environmental awareness and sensitisation campaign looking at all the problems our climate is currently facing. We realised that in this combat against climate change, we cannot do it alone; that is why we started this coalition dubbed Climate Justice Movement, through which we have worked with over 8,000 young persons in our bid to form a youth-centric climate justice movement,” Andoh said.

He added that through the Climate Justice Movement, they have rallied young persons, CSOs and traditional rulers, to build their capacities and encourage them speak out on environmental malpractices.

Andoh also called on the government to support and collaborate with the movement, as well as other CSOs who seek for avenues to make positive change in the society.

20240605_095940Participants marching to sensitise against forest exploitation



Environment Minister reacts

The Minister of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development, Hélé Pierre, commended CJM for its action, which he called spontaneous. 

He thanked the movement for actions carried out to end the effects of land degradation, droughts and climate change in the country, and for mobilising thousands of young people to share in the dire state over exploitation of forest has put indigenous people in and make their grievances known.

“We have heard you and we will look into your proposals and do our best to protect the environment and your rights. We also call on all Cameroonians to take action as we cannot do it alone,” Minister Hélé stated.

He equally encouraged CJM and called on them not to relent their efforts as the government counts on the dynamism and energy the youth add in the climate change fight.

“You young people give us hope that when we work together, more can be done. We can do it and we will do it,” the minister noted.